Experts. They all have the answers, right? I think that’s what differentiates those who claim to be experts of the credit union industry from those who merely state that they are “students of branding” for the industry. The latter are the people who know how to ask questions and challenge you. They’re the people who don’t pretend to know who you are and what you should be doing to elevate your message and your experience to members and consumers without asking some smart questions first.

I found this very same group in Las Vegas, where they totally reenergized me as a teacher and mentor during the CUNA Marketing Management School Year 1 class. I heard some pretty interesting questions coming from this new group of 70 enlightened marketers, and thought to myself, these are the kinds of questions that should be shared, and then answered, by everyone at the credit union. Did I say everyone? Yes. Everyone – call center, volunteers, MSR loan officers and senior management. You want buy-in for what you’re doing? Make people care. And you do that by including them in as many process-altering projects as you can.

Here are a few of the discussion points from the marketers, day 1, fired up, and ready to go. They start out like this:

  • What if we made it all about service?
    • Building relationships instead of making staff  “sell” our products and services. If we become the member’s trusted advisor, they will always look to us for the right answers if and when they need something.
    • And what if the answer wasn’t us – and we recommended another credit union to them? What kind of message would that send them? Oh yeah…maybe that we really did care about them?
  • What if we concentrated on giving everyone a great experience when they call us, come in to the branch, see us at a community event, or find us online?
    • What would, and should, that look like? And what would we get out of it?
      • Repeat business
      • Larger share of wallet
      • Word-of-mouth advocates talking about how great we are
      • An elevated brand identity
  • What if we drove culture though random rewards and recognition for staff members who truly deserved it?
  • What if our Mission Statement really told people what our purpose was and didn't sound like 4,000 other credit union Mission Statements?
  • What if we encouraged our entire staff to present ideas and solutions to help the credit union align with their Brand Position?
  • What if we communicated with each other? And I’m not talking about what we TELL our staff…I’m talking about really communicating with them the way we’d like them to communicate with us.
  • What if we encouraged our staff to innovate, engage, and live the brand?

You want to know what your marketers are thinking about and what they’d like to be asking others on the credit union leadership team? Here ya go. They are all about wanting to make a difference. Help them believe in what we are as cooperatives serving consumers, and doing it better than anyone else in the country.

Let them tell the story – and give them the tools to do it.

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